Thursday 11 December 2014

Protection vs Honesty

Listening to the radio this morning as they spoke of this young girl and her final conversations with her parents over breakfast with my kids, I was struck with a thought.

As a parent we try to shelter our children from sadness and horrors, but kids are curious about everything, death included.

As a Druid parent I try very hard to answer their questions directly, but vaguely enough that they are able to make their own conclusions. If we force upon them our views, our expectations of the afterlife, we may not be comforting them or assuaging their natural fears but adding to them.

A major reason for my choice and decision to be pagan and train in Druidry was to understand death. I loved my grandmother dearly, yet as a young child she made me say the "Now I lay me down to sleep" prayer before bed at her house thinking it would be a comforting to me. Though it came from a place of love and care, I remember laying awake exceptionally fearful of dying in the night and someone taking me away from my family.

While the agony I felt led me to the spiritual path of Druidry, I shudder every time I have to answer these questions from my own children.

Just last night my five year old asked if he grew up would I be dead?

An answer would be "yes. You'll likely be grown up when I die. But we don't know that." But I think the actual question he was asking, what he was fearful about and only somewhat able to convey, was that his growing up would cause my death.

Allowing them to take the lead and question will let us determine the best way to answer.

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